Know Your Rights When Purchasing A Car

first_img Whether it’s new or used, buying a car is one of the most complex and expensive purchases you can make. It’s great to get a good deal, but doing a little homework and research can go a long way to avoid problems with future vehicle purchases. Read the helpful tips below to learn about important issues that may affect your car purchase.1. Ensure you get a good deal – The Office of the Indiana Attorney General offers a list of rights for consumers when purchasing a new or used car. Review these rights carefully to avoid being duped into buying a less than ideal vehicle.2. Understand your financing – Know the exact price of the car, the amount being financed and the total finance charge. Always research your options to make an informed and educated decision.3. Know when you should receive your title – At the time of purchase, confirm the location and possession of the title. If you have made all agreed upon initial payments, including delivery of a trade-in vehicle (if applicable), car dealers and individuals are required to deliver the title at the time of sale or delivery within 31 days of the sale (IC 9-32-4-1(a)(2)).4. Beware of odometer and salvage fraud – It is best to have a professional mechanic look at the vehicle before purchase; however, if this is not possible, pay attention to things like the upholstery and carpet matching the miles, oil change and other service stickers, dashboard repair or replacement, different colors of paint, and door and/or hinge replacement.You have a right to file a Consumer Complaint with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General if you feel any of your rights have been violated during the process of purchasing a vehicle.For information on filing a Consumer Complaint visit or call (317) 232-6330.More tips on purchasing a car are available on the Indiana Attorney General’s website. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more


first_imgWhasats on your mind today?Todays “READERS POLL” question is” Are you disappointed in the Evansville City Council for not being more concerned with the contract between Thunderbolts/VenuWorks and the City?We urge you to take time and click the section we have reserved for the daily recaps of the activities of our local Law Enforcement professionals. This section is located on the upper right side of our publication.If you would like to advertise or submit and article in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] LinkEmailSharelast_img

BBB warns you to watch out for fake Super Bowl tickets

first_img WhatsApp BBB warns you to watch out for fake Super Bowl tickets Previous articleSouth Bend woman arrested during traffic stop, suspected of dealing cocaineNext articleJanuary’s Hometown Hero: Dr. Rebecca Rockers Tommie Lee Pinterest IndianaLocalMichiganNationalNewsSouth Bend MarketSports WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Google+ By Tommie Lee – January 24, 2021 0 208 Twitter Facebook Pinterest (“IMG_9763_1” by Chad Routh, CC BY-SA 2.0) Now that the teams have been set for this year’s Championship game, fans will be trying to grab up the limited number of tickets available for Super Bowl LV.This can lead to opportunities for scammers to cheat you out of hundreds or thousands of dollars if you aren’t careful, according to Marjorie Stephens of the BBB.There are ways to protect yourself if you’re planning on trying to get seats for the game in Tampa, Florida. Hear Marjorie’s tips by clicking here. Twitterlast_img read more

Book award named in Middle East scholar’s honor

first_imgAt its annual meeting Nov. 18-21, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) announced a new book award named for Professor Roger Owen of Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES). The Roger Owen Book Award will recognize work on the economics, economic history, or political economy of the Middle East and North Africa in the modern period, and will be awarded biennially to a single recipient.In the announcement of the award, MESA stated, “The purpose of the award is to honor the work of Roger Owen, A.J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History at Harvard University, and to encourage new scholarship incorporating economics and economic factors.”Owen is a pre-eminent scholar of the economic and political history of the modern and early modern Middle East. He served as director of CMES from 1996 to 1999, and is one of the center’s core faculty members.The MESA book award in his name is Owen’s second major honor from the Middle East studies community this year. In July he was given the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies Award for Outstanding Contributions to Middle Eastern Studies, which he received jointly with scholar Josef Van Ess.“We are grateful for MESA’s recognition of the importance of Professor Owen’s contribution to the field,” said CMES Director Baber Johansen. “MESA’s creation of a book award in Roger Owen’s name is, we think, a wonderful way to honor a great scholar.”last_img read more

When does NFL free agency start in 2020? Key dates, latest news & rumors for top available players

first_img— March 11: Teams expect cornerback Byron Jones to become the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history at $16 million to $18 million per year, according to NFL Media.— March 9: The Cowboys send a new contract extension proposal to quarterback Dak Prescott “in hopes of kick-starting earnest discussions that lead to a multiyear agreement,” according to ESPN.— March 2: The Jaguars will use the franchise tag on defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, according to ESPN. Ngakoue tweets he no longer has interest in signing a long-term deal with Jacksonville.— March 1: The Patriots indeed hope to re-sign quarterback Tom Brady in free agency, and coach/general manager Bill Belichick “is not freezing Brady out,” according to NBC Sports Boston.— March 1: The Bengals “currently plan to franchise tag” wide receiver A.J. Green, per ESPN. Cincinnati wants him on the team in 2020, potentially to pair with Joe Burrow if the QB is selected with the No. 1 overall pick.— Feb. 28: If the Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott can’t reach a long-term deal before the March 12 tag deadline, Dallas plans to place an exclusive franchise tag on the QB, according to NFL Media.— Feb. 27: ESPN NFL reporter Jeff Darlington says on “Get Up”: “I’m now at the point where I would be stunned if Tom Brady went back to New England.”— Feb. 27: The Cowboys’ contract talks with wide receiver Amari Cooper “will intensify” before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, according to The Dallas Morning News.— Feb. 27: The Chiefs are expected to use the franchise tag on defensive tackle Chris Jones, according to The Kansas City Star.Top NFL free agents available in 2020Below are the top 25 players who are scheduled to hit free agency in 2020, courtesy of Sporting News NFL writer Vinnie Iyer.Updates to this list will be made when a player’s status changes, via a franchise tag or a signing in free agency. 6. Jadevon Clowney, EDGE, Seahawks (26)IYER: Clowney liked playing in Seattle’s 4-3 scheme after coming over from Houston’s 3-4, continuing his elite run stopping and when healthy, being a force in the pass rush even without the sacks (only 3 in 13 games) to back it up. He has said he wants to keep contributing to a top contender and the Seahawks want to bring him back.7. Byron Jones, CB, Cowboys (27)IYER: Jones failed to record an interception in his second full season at cornerback but used his 6-0, 205-pound frame well to be a shutdown artist and also has translated his athleticism to be an active, sound tackler.8. Justin Simmons, S, Broncos (26)IYER: Simmons is coming off a monster season as a big safety (6-2, 202 pounds), showing off both his prolific tackling against the run and ball-hawking in physical coverage (four interceptions). He is a priority re-sign for John Elway.9. Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers (25)IYER: Henry rebounded well in a 12-game season coming off a torn ACL with 55 catches for 652 yards and a TD, building on his rookie and second-year promise. At 6-5, 250 pounds, he’s a prototype complete player at the position and sneakily the best of the Chargers’ three offensive re-sign options.10. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans (26)IYER: This Henry was beastly down the stretch to become the NFL’s reigning rushing champion with his old-school blend of power and burst. The Titans will be keeping the hammer and foundation of their offense, but they might need to figure out how much they’re paying their quarterback before knowing what they can pay Henry. (Getty Images) 1. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys (age: 26)IYER: Prescott went back to his rookie level of success only while handling much higher passing volume and downfield pop under Kellen Moore. Moore is staying in Dallas with Mike McCarthy for that reason and the Cowboys locking up Prescott is the highest offensive priority of any team.2. Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs (25)IYER: Jones has proved to be a highly disruptive inside pass rusher in two schemes over two massive seasons. He’s an explosive talent for any front and the Chiefs may need to franchise-tag him (at around $15.5 million guaranteed) for 2020. The challenges to giving him a big contract are a past one to Frank Clark and a monster future one for Patrick Mahomes while working with limited cap space.3. Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys (25)IYER: The Cowboys have every intention to keep their triplets of Prescott, Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott intact, but it was strange how they were forced into locking up the running back first. There’s a chance Cooper might explore a richer payday in free agency with the potential tag needed to go to Prescott first.4. Drew Brees, QB, Saints (41)IYER: Brees said he’s taking some time to contemplate his playing future in football, but coming off a third consecutive playoff frustration, he is fully expected to be back leading their offense with a deal on his terms. Sean Payton pretty much made it clear he’ll remain attached to his long-time QB.5. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots (41)IYER: He’s the third in the loaded class of veteran QBs as he’s much older than Prescott and wasn’t nearly as effective as Brees in 2019. But Brady still made the most of the talent around him to lead the Patriots through a tougher path to the AFC East title by grinding away with his mental toughness and competitiveness. It’s about 50-50 for him to stay in New England, as hard is that to believe. (Getty Images) 16. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals (31)IYER: Green wants to stick around after his season completely lost to ankle injury if the Bengals bring him back at the right final contract price. The Bengals could use him to give Joe Burrow a reliable veteran security blanket outside.17. Anthony Harris, S, Vikings (28)IYER: Harris, like Simmons is another big safety (6-1, 202 pounds), only coming off making a few more big plays in coverage (6 INTs) with a little less impact against the run.18. Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers (26)IYER: The good of Winston was the league-leading 5,109 yards passing with 33 TDs. The bad was his league-leading 30 INTs that pushed his efficiency way down again for Bruce Arians. Should the Bucs think they are better off trying to win games with someone else, he should be a starter elsewhere.19. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Colts (31)IYER: He’s been terrific as their left tackle, keeping up the pass protection in the transition from Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett without losing his run-blocking edge. But it’s sounding like he’s split between retiring and re-signing.20. Yannick Ngakuoe, EDGE, Jaguars (24)IYER: He’s too young and too productive as their best pass rusher (8 sacks in 2019) to let walk. If they can’t figure out a long-term deal in the short term, he’s bound to be franchise-tagged at a little more than $19 million for 2020. Headlined by Brady, quarterbacks are the biggest dominoes in 2020 NFL free agency. While Drew Brees is expected to re-sign with the Saints, Philip Rivers will not return to the Chargers. Dak Prescott is expected to be tagged by the Cowboys, but Ryan Tannehill and Jamies Winston should hit the open market. Even a QB who is not a free agent, Cam Newton, could be on the move via trade.Including the latest rumors regarding those quarterbacks and the other top players set to hit the market, below is all you need to know about NFL free agency in 2020.MORE NFL FREE AGENCY:Ranking the top 50 players on 2020 marketWhen does NFL free agency start in 2020?Legal tampering period: Monday, March 16 – Wednesday, March 18Start of 2020 NFL free agency: Wednesday, March 18While March 18, the start of the 2020 league year, is the official beginning of NFL free agency, the unofficial-but-true start of free agency is the legal tampering period, which begins March 16.Beginning March 16, per the NFL, “teams are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2019 player contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 18.”The franchise tag deadline for 2020 (now also March 16) will have passed by the time free agency opens. Tagged players and their teams have until July 15 to reach long-term contracts before they’re forced to play out the season with tag designations.The start of the league year at 4 p.m. ET on March 18 also marks the opening of the trading period for 2020, though trades can be agreed upon (just not processed) before the window opens.Below are the other notable happenings March 18:At 4 p.m. ET, all 2019 player contracts expire.Prior to 4 p.m. ET, teams must be under the 2020 salary cap (top 51 rule begins).Prior to 4 p.m. ET, teams must exercise options for 2020 on all players who have option clauses in their 2019 contracts.Prior to 4 p.m. ET, teams must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts in order to retain a right of first refusal/compensation.Prior to 4 p.m. ET, teams must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2019 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.The first day of the 2020 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m. ET on March 18. Teams receive a personnel notice that includes all transactions submitted to the league after 4 p.m. ET that day.NFL free agency rumors trackerBelow are the latest rumors regarding the top free agents who are set to hit the open market in mid-March.(If you’re here for Tom Brady rumors, specifically, we have you covered with a Patriots QB-focused tracker here.) (Getty Images) (Getty Images) 11. Joe Thuney, G, Patriots (27)IYER: ​Thuney is coming off a second-year All-Pro season at left guard, standing out despite injuries dampening the play next to him at left tackle and center. He is an efficient all-around blocker, especially a rock in the running game.12. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers (38)IYER: Rivers looks like he’s either preparing himself to land with another team in free agency or getting ready to retire with his noted family relocation from Southern California to Florida. He’s coming off a rough season where he got too careless with the ball but he’s got something left as a fiery leader in the right offensive support system.13. Cory Littleton, ILB, Rams (26)IYER: Littleton is a highly active tackler and one of the best cover men at his position because of his quickness, range and instincts. He also can be effective going after the quarterback as a blitzer.14. Shaquil Barrett, EDGE, Buccaneers (27)IYER: The Bucs got major dividends from the former Bronco as he enjoyed a terrific, long-awaited breakout season, leading the NFL in sacks (19.5) in Todd Bowles’ 3-4.15. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans (31)IYER: The Titans need to be careful about overpaying and over-committing to Tannehill too much given his age, but it’s hard not to think of him as a continued, highly reasonable solution to QB after he meshed so well in the offense playing off Henry and the dominant running game. IYER: Back to being fully healthy, the 2016 No. 8 overall pick rebounded into form as a rock of a right tackle paving the way for Henry. He is likely to locked up by Tennessee, which is what he wants, too.25. Leonard Williams, DT, Giants (25)IYER: Williams has been more than a little disappointing with his explosive impact up front, given he was the No. 6 overall pick in 2015, prompting his crosstown trade from the Jets. The Giants want to bring him back as a cornerstone for the rebuild for Dave Gettleman and new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. (Getty Images) (Getty Images) The start of NFL free agency in 2020 should be wild, if nothing else because of the high-profile names scheduled to hit the open market this year. Yes, a handful of those players will be retained by their teams via the franchise tag before free agency starts March 18 (effectively March 16 with the legal tampering period), but plenty will available for any team to sign.The most notable of those players is Tom Brady, and the ripple effects of his decision in free agency will be felt league-wide. At this point, whether the 42-year-old quarterback will return to the Patriots for a 21st season or play for a new team for the first time in his career is anybody’s guess. 21. Arik Armstead, DE, 49ers (26)IYER: The 2015 first-rounder from Oregon finally busted out big time with his massive frame (6-7, 290 pounds) with 10 sacks in Robert Saleh’s 4-3, or one more than the total of his previous four seasons. He’s probably still more of a solid complementary pass rusher than transcendent one.22. Brandon Scherff, G, Redskins (28)IYER: The three-time Pro Bowler and No. 5 overall pick from 2015 isn’t too far behind Thuney with his powerful work at right guard for Washington.23. Chris Harris Jr., CB, Broncos (30)IYER: Harris has shown some signs of slowing down, but overall, thrust into more of a traveling shutdown role in Denver’s new defense with Vic Fangio, he responded well to the point he has fine appeal on a shorter-team deal.24. Jack Conklin, OT, Titans (25)last_img read more

Chicago officials expand quarantine order for visitors from Iowa, Oklahoma

first_imgCHICAGO (AP) — People traveling from Iowa and Oklahoma to Chicago will have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival or face possible fines starting Friday. Chicago first issued a quarantine order early this month for 15 other states based on increasing numbers of confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The city updated the order Tuesday, bringing the total number of affected states to 17.States are included based on the rate of new confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.last_img

Who’s Got Logical Reasoning? Protestants, Not Atheists

first_imgSurprising news articles undercut atheists’ claims to reason, and score points for Protestants.Why atheists are not as rational as some like to think (The Conversation). Here’s a rare article: a debunking of atheism by an evolutionist! Lois Lee, a Research Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Kent, speaks of evolution as fact when she tries to explain why children do not necessarily follow their parents’ religion:This is perfectly rational in a sense, but children aren’t processing this on a cognitive level. Throughout our evolutionary history, humans have often lacked the time to scrutinise and weigh up the evidence – needing to make quick assessments. That means that children to some extent just absorb the crucial information, which in this case is that religious belief doesn’t appear to matter in the way that parents are saying it does.Theists will find plenty to criticize in this quote, but most of the rest of Lee’s article is quite illuminating. For once, someone at The Conversation (a soap box for anti-creationist Darwin dogmatists) pushes atheists off their self-righteous pedestals. Under a banner photo of Richard Dawkins speaking at a microphone, she begins,Many atheists think that their atheism is the product of rational thinking. They use arguments such as “I don’t believe in God, I believe in science” to explain that evidence and logic, rather than supernatural belief and dogma, underpin their thinking. But just because you believe in evidence-based, scientific research – which is subject to strict checks and procedures – doesn’t mean that your mind works in the same way.Unlike many scientists, Lois Lee has a career of asking atheists why they became atheists. She finds that theory and practice are two separate things. Some of her points are listed here:Religious people make the same point against atheists, that reason leads them to reject atheism.The science increasingly shows that atheists are no more rational than theists.Atheists are just as susceptible as the next person to “group-think” and other non-rational forms of cognition.Religious and nonreligious people alike can end up following charismatic individuals without questioning them.Our minds often prefer righteousness over truth.Emerging research is demonstrating that atheist parents (and others) pass on their beliefs to their children in a similar way to religious parents – through sharing their culture as much as their arguments.Atheists complain that children of religious people usually end up with the same beliefs, but this is true for atheist children, too – even in families that claim that children should be free to choose their own beliefs.Religious people (especially Protestants) often embrace science as important for their worldview.Some post-modern atheists embrace anti-scientific views of reality and the importance of science.Atheism provides a sense of meaning and comfort for them similar to the feelings religious people get from their beliefs.Christians will not find everything praiseworthy in this article. One thing she makes clear, however, is that atheists can’t claim the high ground on science or reason. In fact, among religious people, Protestants stand out:But are atheists more likely to embrace science than religious people? Many belief systems can be more or less closely integrated with scientific knowledge. Some belief systems are openly critical of science, and think it has far too much sway over our lives, while other belief systems are hugely concerned to learn about and respond to scientific knowledge.But this difference doesn’t neatly map onto whether you are religious or not. Some Protestant traditions, for example, see rationality or scientific thinking as central to their religious lives. Meanwhile, a new generation of postmodern atheists highlight the limits of human knowledge, and see scientific knowledge as hugely limited, problematic even, especially when it comes to existential and ethical questions. These atheists might, for example, follow thinkers like Charles Baudelaire in the view that true knowledge is only found in artistic expression.Lee ends by saying that humans “invented” science but are not “like” science in our choices and behaviors. We all have moments of irrationality. “Importantly, the scientific evidence does not tend to support the view that atheism is about rational thought and theism is about existential fulfilments.”Protestantism still matters when it comes to education, study shows ( The Legacy of Martin Luther who wished to expand public education continues to have beneficial effects around the world, claims Andy Dunne at the University of Bath.An ‘enduring historical legacy’ of Protestant religion is still having a significant, positive impact on secondary school enrolment rates around the world, according to the results of a new international study from a researcher at the University of Bath (UK).Despite nearly two centuries of secularization and a dramatic expansion of government-provided secondary education since the mid-20th century in many countries around the world, the research by Dr. Horst Feldmann—just published in the journal Comparative Sociology —finds that in countries with a historical legacy of Protestantism more young people are attending secondary school.The influence is widespread:Looking at data from 147 countries—both from developed and developing countries—the paper studies the influence of historical as well as contemporary Protestantism on education in recent years—specifically the period from 1975 to 2010.How did this come about?At the start of the Reformation in 1517, initiated by Martin Luther, Protestantism made strenuous efforts to expand schooling. Luther demanded compulsory elementary education for boys and girls from all social classes. Other German Protestants soon developed a comprehensive system of schooling, including a system of secondary education. The German reforms quickly became a blueprint for education across many other countries in western and northern Europe.Why was this not known before?“This study is the first to show that the historically positive effect of Protestantism on schooling is still noticeable today.“It also shows that this is not only the case in a few traditionally Protestant countries. Rather the historically positive effect of Protestantism on schooling is a global phenomenon.“Unfortunately, Dunne ends that this positive influence is on the decline. Why? Dr Feldmann found that “contemporary Protestantism, in contrast to historical Protestantism, does not affect schooling.” It’s been very clear for the last few decades that the traditional bastions of Protestantism, including the UK and Germany, have not only become secularized (with very few people attending any church at all), but are now being overrun with Muslims who have a very different view of the world, and very different values in education.Think of the madrassas in Muslim countries teaching children from the very earliest ages that their greatest goal in life is to blow up as many non-Muslims as possible. Think of how they teach children to hate Jews and Americans. Now think of eastern countries that teach children that the greatest good is to abandon reality and meditate on the great nothingness. Now think of the modern western countries saturated in scientific materialism and Darwin’s belief in a universe of blind, pitiless indifference. Do you see problems ahead?The solution would be to return to the doctrines and values that Martin Luther taught. He did not invent these. He opened the Scriptures, which had been forgotten and locked up by the corrupt church leaders of his day. He saw what God had clearly said to mankind thousands of years ago: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools lack wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). Throughout the Bible, knowledge is praised. God instructed Moses to tell parents to teach their children diligently. Hard work, knowledge and wisdom are valued throughout the Bible. God’s word is the key. To avoid cultural catastrophe, we need a revitalization of the Reformation. Open the Word of life.97 Oh how I love your law!It is my meditation all the day.98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,for it is ever with me.99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,for your testimonies are my meditation.100 I understand more than the aged,for I keep your precepts.101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,in order to keep your word.102 I do not turn aside from your rules,for you have taught me.103 How sweet are your words to my taste,sweeter than honey to my mouth!104 Through your precepts I get understanding;therefore I hate every false way.105 Your word is a lamp to my feetand a light to my path.From Psalm 119(Visited 722 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Congo-Brazzaville to chair AU

first_img25 January 2006Congo-Brazzaville has been elected chair of the African Union (AU) for 2006, after Sudan withdrew its bid for the post at the AU heads of state summit in Khartoum, Sudan on Monday.A special committee appointed by the summit – comprising Gabon, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Egypt – has recommended that Sudan take over the presidency in 2007.Traditionally, the host of the AU summit takes over the presidency. But concerns were raised that Sudan’s human rights record, particularly in the troubled Darfur region, might taint the AU’s reputation and stall the union’s peacekeeping initiatives in the region.An official statement declared that the union’s principle of rotating leadership among regions “shall be respected when electing the president of the African Union”.A task team is to be established to ensure that the geographical rotational principle for the coming years is adhered to, and that the election processes conform to the provisions of the AU’s Constitutive Act.Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso is now the chair of the AU.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

New guide celebrates Africa’s cuisine users are often surprised to learn how sophisticated the local culinary scene is.(Image: iKapa Tours) CEO Teresa Clarke, left, and Chef Benny Masekwameng are optimistic that the new restaurant guide will help African cuisine claim its place in the spotlight.(Image: Janine Erasmus) MEDIA CONTACTS • Talia Harrison sales development  +27 84 400 2159 RELATED ARTICLES • A taste of SA in New York • Help street kids the responsible way • SA restaurant tops in food Oscars • Dash of Zulu in the heart of London • Culinary graduates steak their claimJanine ErasmusWith about five-million page views per month, online portal is perfectly positioned to put the continent’s culinary industry into the global spotlight – and with its newly launched restaurant guide it’s going to do just that.African cuisine is colourful, diverse and cultured, and is a largely unexplored aspect of the continent that offers a refreshing alternative to game drives and extreme adventures.The restaurant guide was launched in Johannesburg on 7 March 2013 with South Africa as the first country on the list. It was developed in response to questions from users, says CEO and chairperson Teresa Clarke.“Most of our users are visitors from overseas who are interested in travel, and they are often surprised at how sophisticated the South African culinary scene is,” says Clarke. “They enjoy learning about new opportunities to experience the country’s best, and we’ve noticed that some of our top performing articles are those that, for instance, talk about a new restaurant in the Winelands.”South African food has absorbed numerous influences over the years, from French Huguenot, Dutch and British colonists to Malays to Indians and the land’s indigenous residents. Conservative foodies can sample anything overseas restaurants have to offer including hamburgers, sushi, pizza, pasta and carvery, and the brave ones can taste more exotic local fare such as mopane worms, crocodile steaks, ostrich fillets and kudu sausage.In major cities there is everything to choose from – Vietnamese, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Moroccan, Chinese, Indian, Greek, Brazilian, and more.Now it’s time for that vibrant cuisine to shine around the world.Stephen Billingham, president of the South African Chefs Association, and part of the three-member culinary council, says the guide is targeted at the discerning international traveller who expects excellence and value for money.“These people will now be guided straight to local establishments that offer the same quality found in New York, London or Singapore,” he launched in 2010 and is considered the fastest growing Africa-focused website, claiming some two-million international monthly visitors from over 200 countries. With categories ranging from arts and culture and tourism to news and a recently created business travel section, the overseas traveller to Africa will find all the right information no matter which of the continent’s 54 countries he or she is visiting.Africa offers world-class fine dining, but visibility is important and exposure on will provide that, and will help travellers to plan their visits more efficiently by screening restaurants before they leave home. Best of the bestThe guide offers restaurants graded in three tiers. The platinum establishments are the crème de la crème­, those that offer an exceptional dining experience. They are followed by the gold tier, which offers culinary excellence, and the bronze tier which offer solid choices for casual dining.Restaurants are rated according to their service, quality of the food, wine list, general ambience and value for money.Four restaurants, two from Gauteng and two from KwaZulu-Natal, were singled out for platinum status at the launch. There are also four in the Western Cape which have yet to be announced.The restaurants are Five Hundred at the Saxon and dw eleven-13, both in Johannesburg, and Ile Maurice and the restaurant at Hartford House, both in KwaZulu-Natal.“We know we made the right choices,” says Benny Masekwameng, a member of the culinary council and a Masterchef South Africa judge. “We need to let people know what we can do. There’s a lot that’s said about our country in terms of other attractions, and now our industry has the chance to reach a wider audience around the world.”Masekwameng says the country has top-notch culinary talent, but that talent needs a platform such as Masterchef and now, the restaurant guide.All the qualifying restaurants were announced at the launch, and those achieving platinum also received a plaque which they can display with pride.“ is the definitive address for information on the continent,” says the culinary council’s third member Richard Harden, who publishes a highly regarded guide to restaurants in the UK, “and we expect the restaurant guide will become the obvious choice for diners in Africa.”“What better way for a restaurant to get expert advice on what people want?” says Masekwameng. “From the top traveller with money to spend to average tourists, the list caters for everyone. But you need to make sure that your establishment delivers – it’s all about consistency and keeping the reputation you’ve built.” How is the list compiled?“We take nominations from our visitors,” says Clarke. “Based on that, our South African staff goes around and visits the recommended restaurants, who know nothing of the exercise.”Establishments have to earn their place – there is no paying for a spot on this list – so the results are objective and transparent.Once a rating has been achieved, the restaurant will be reviewed every four months to ensure that it upholds the required standard and that is aware of the latest developments.Kenya will soon be the second country featured in the guide.“There are some great restaurants there,” says Clarke. “Many of them are still finding their feet, but they’re coming along. Most are in Nairobi, so look out for them on our list.”last_img read more

Top hopes

first_imgHeena SidhuThe Commonwealth Games is the focus of sports talk and aspirations in Punjab now. Sports has been a fix of sorts in the state for decades; the Maharajas indulged in it while lesser men too have not lagged behind. And now with the Games at the doorsteps, all eyes,Heena SidhuThe Commonwealth Games is the focus of sports talk and aspirations in Punjab now. Sports has been a fix of sorts in the state for decades; the Maharajas indulged in it while lesser men too have not lagged behind. And now with the Games at the doorsteps, all eyes are on medals, more so, because it has become a matter of prestige with the event being held at home. Be it hockey, wrestling, shooting, cricket or athletics, Punjabis excel in almost every kind of sport. In fact, there have been times when nine out of the playing 11 team members of the gold winning hockey Olympic teams have been from one small village in Punjab (Sansarpur, near Jalandhar-also referred to as the Mecca of Indian Hockey).Rajpal SinghWith such a history egging them on, Punjabi players are under pressure to perform at the Commonwealth Games. High on excitement but slightly low because of the negative publicity the Games are attracting, these players are readying to make India proud.”We have a well balanced team and we have a fair chance of winning a medal,” says Rajpal Singh, captain of the Indian Hockey team. Determination has always been Singh’s strength. After he won the best player award in the under-18 Asia cup in 2001 held in Malaysia, he said, ” One day I will definitely lead the senior team.” And he has proved himself. Singh honed his skills at Chandigarh’s Sector 42 hockey stadium. There were times when he used to pedal to the stadium for training.Singh, training at the Pune camp now, said, “The schedule is the same for any major international event.” Happy that he will be playing in front of a home crowd, he says, “I want to emerge as the leading scorer of the tournament. The home crowd usually acts as a 12th teammate.” The short-corner expertise is something that the team is perfecting which has made them number nine in the world and winners of Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament.Another hockey player, Sandeep Singh from Haryana had always wanted to represent the country in the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World Cup, which he did this February. Capped this August with an Arjuna award, he says, “It was the greatest moment of my life.” But he doesn’t want to stop here. “I want India to win the gold at the CWG and that day will be the biggest hour for our hockey fans.”Manavjit SidhuAnother CWG star, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, shooter who specialises in trap shooting and a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee, says, “The Government has invested huge money, so I think the only way I can give back is through bringing medals.” Sandhu has been training in Italy for the last few months and is hopeful that the CWG will inspire the youth. “We should get over with stories on the scams so that foreigners who come here leave with pleasant memories. It should not give a bad name to India.” Much of his time being taken up by training round-the-clock, Sandhu says, “We will be performing in front of the home crowd and it has to be our best.”Abhinav BindraThe maharaja of the shooting ranges, Abhinav Bindra is as modest in depicting his chances of winning a medal as would be an amateur shooter. Bindra who will compete in the 10 m air rifle event, was under training by his foreign coaches and was working on mental, physical and technical aspects of the game. He trains for about 40 hours a week, and in the last leg, is specifically training on the physical aspect of game.Ronjan SodiFor Ronjan Singh Sodhi, double trap shooter from Punjab , the CWG could be the beginning of a sports revolution. “Almost everyone is taking about the Games, positive or negative.” Sodhi who is basking in the glory of winning the World Cup held in Italy this June is all set for the CWG. Sodhi has been training in Australia and Italy and says, “When I started, I didn’t even have a gun of my own. But times have changed- all thanks to my family and the Government.” Sodhi who hails from Ferozepur region in Punjab , says, “I have been fascinated by guns since my childhood. When hunting was not banned, I used to accompany my grandfather to the fields.”Maha SinghMaha Singh, long-jump athlete, has his target set. “If I can jump at eight meters, I will get a medal for sure,” he says. Singh who is being trained under a Russian coach felt that changing his coaching style has helped a lot. Singh is proud of the CWG. “I am sure many parents after CWG would like their children to take up sports as their career.”When it comes to sports, Punjabi women are not far. Another promising medal prospect for India is Heena Sidhu, ranked 16th in the world who is competing in the senior category of the 10m air pistol. “Along with the physical training, I have included breathing exercises and meditation in my schedule to improve my concentration. The year so far has been good for me as I came fourth in the World Championship in America and missed a medal by a whisker in Munich.” Sidhu’s biggest support system is her father who accompanies her everywhere. “I am very optimistic of India ‘s chances in the CWG but I am not happy with the discordant noises being made about the poor management.”Hardeep KaurFor Hardeep Kaur, 30, selection for the CWG has been like a dream come true. This athlete from a small village Lehan near Ludhiana received a major setback in 2004 when she failed the dope test. But that is history now. “I am looking forward to go past 62m at the Delhi Games,” said Kaur. Initially, she excelled in shot-put and discus events at the junior national meets. But she came into prominence in 1999 when she won the hammer title at the national level. In the same year, she came in contact with former international hammer thrower Nirmal Singh and started taking her career more seriously. Kaur’s inspiration has been her elder sister Jagdeep who was the winner of the first women hammer throw event when it was introduced in the athletics calendar in the early 1990s. A few years ago, she got married to hurdler Gurpreet Singh.Harwant KaurThe discus throw, one of India ‘s best prospects for women, is being represented by three participants, chief of them being Harwant Kaur,32.Since 2005 after she played for the international meet, Asian Grand Prix at Singapore, Kaur has had issues- injuries and personal problems but now she is back with a better focus. “If she is able to repeat her Patiala performance, she should be one of the medalist,” said officiating AFI secretary Ravinder Chaudhary. Her younger brother is an international level low hurdler. And Harwant’s family is very encouraging. Perhaps that could be one of the factors that she has been around on the national scene for more than a decade and still going strong.Manjit KaurManjit Kaur,28, is one of those whose talent surfaced quite early. In fact, during a local school meet, Kaur was first spotted by athletics coach RS Sidhu in late 1990s.There was a time when this international level runner didn’t even have a good pair of running spikes and then Olympian and former international athlete, Gurbachan Singh Randhawa arranged for a pair of shoes for her.This talented athlete in roughly six years has made rapid strides to stardom in the domestic circuit.She set a new national mark of 51.05 seconds in 2004 at the National Circuit Atheltic Meet held in Chennai. A few years back, Manjit further got a boost to her career when she was inducted into the Punjab Police.Way back in 1995 during the junior national women hockey tournament, one of Haryana’s hockey team members scored 37 goals in one competition, setting a new record of sorts. She was none other than Surinder Kaur. Four years later when she donned senior colours, she scored 33 goals in the National hockey championship. With such talented sportsmen, India’s chances of lapping medals at the Delhi games stand high. Punjabi sportspersons are all set to make their state as well the country proud.We wish them luck.Rajpal Singh, 27Sport: HockeyDebut: Youth Asia Cup, 2001Big role: Leading the Indian hockey team in CWGHeena Sidhu, 20Sport: 10m air pistolMissed it: Chance of pocketing a medal in the opening competition in Changwon, KoreaNumber crunching: Ranked fourth in World Championship in AmericaRonjan Sodi, 27Sport: Double-trap shooterNumber game: 14 medals till date besides an Arjuna AwardFirst time: He won his first World Cup medal-a bronze in 2007Golden shot: Won the gold at the ISSF World Cup in Lonato in June this yearManavjit Sidhu, 34Sport: ShootingHighest honour: Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2006Daddy’s footsteps: His father Gurbir Singh Sandhu was also an international level shooter and Arjun awardeeHarwant Kaur, 30Sport: Discuss throwPersonal best: 63.05 meters achieved in August 2004 in Kiev wineMiss chance: She contested at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but failed to reach the finalsManjit Kaur, 28Sport: Sprint athleteCurrent record: 400 m national record of 51.05 secondsHigh point: Arjuna Award in 2005Golden victory: In Doha Asian Games in 2006, she led India to a stunning 4 x 400 metres relay gold.Maha Singh, 27Sport: Long JumpWorld ranking: 38Latest Medals: Two silver and three bronze medals in the last Asian Grand Prix eventsLowest point: Faced a ban in 2003 on charges of dopingHardeep Kaur, 30Sport: Hammer throw tries to bring wineMedal cart: Silver medal at the 2002 Asian Championships, finished fourth at the 2003 Asian Championships and seventh at the 2006 CommonwealthAbhinav Bindra, 28Sport: ShootingFirst time: First Indian to win an individual gold at the Olympic Games, 2008Young turk: Youngest Indian participant in 2000 Olympicsadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more